Amazon Unveils ‘Fire TV’ Streaming Box

(NEW YORK) — With the announcement of Amazon Fire TV, an entertainment streaming box, the hottest entertainment battleground is right in your living room.

The box, which is not taller than a dime, was unveiled in New York City on Wednesday by Amazon’s Vice President Peter Larson, who said the company’s goal was to “invent and simplify.”

“It’s tiny, incredibly powerful and unbelievably simple,” Larson said of the Amazon Fire TV, which runs on Android and will retail for $99. It starts shipping Wednesday.

Users will be able to watch content from Amazon, Hulu, Netlix, YouTube, ESPN on the device, Larson said, and won’t be limited to “one ecosystem” — meaning they can shop around for the best prices for watching their favorite shows.

The Amazon Fire TV comes with built-in Wi-Fi and boasts three times the performance and power of its top competitors — Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku 3, according to Larson.

Users will also be able to play games, including some Amazon originals, and can separately purchase a gaming controller for $39.99 to access even more options.

Also unique to the Fire TV is a voice search option that allows users to speak into a remote in the microphone and search for broad requests, such as “princess movies,” which Larson demonstrated at the launch.

Patrick Moorhead, principal technology analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told that Amazon’s entrance into the crowded streaming market “makes perfect sense.”

“It’s a conduit for what Amazon does best, which is content,” Moorhead said. “What took so long is they had to find the right cost model for a price they could either give away for free or price absurdly low.”

Moorhead said he expects Amazon’s device to be a “major player” in the streaming marketplace and predicted that it could even overtake Chromecast, which at $35, is currently the bestselling electronics device available in Amazon’s online store.

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